Much debate has arisen over the 2007 movie version of “I am Legend”  An alternate ending was filmed which more closely matched Richard Matheson’s original vision.  Robert Neville, the fabled vampire slayer realizes that the greatest monster is himself.
Some of the most memorable stories subvert our ideas of right and wrong, good and evil, friend and foe.  Use this week’s prompt to explore some of those ideas, or to explain how robot zombie ninjas are possible, it’s your prompt after all.

The Judge

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Nellie is a state government worker with her only kids being cats and horses. Who are just as bad as little kids, especially when they want attention. The only difference is the weight. She is also an ML for her area for NaNoWriMo for the 6th year. Getting writers to get together is like rounding up feral cats at times. Reading enjoyment are Steampunk, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror and Urban Fantasy.

Nellie welcomes Cthulhu as her Elder God on the 2012 ticket with VP Hastur.

Nellie can be found on twitter @solimond or at scribblingpencil.wordpress.com.


The Prompt

[I/He/She] never imagined [so and so] would be [the enemy/the greatest threat/ their doom/my undoing...]
*This week's prompt is our loosest yet.  I'm  not so concerned about the wording as long as this idea is clearly expressed in the first sentence.

The Rules

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  1. The story must start from the prompt.  This means the prompt must be the
    first words in the story.
  2. No more than 500 words (not including the
    prompt).  No less than 100 words.
  3. Any genre (in fact an
    unexpected genre will get you more points.)
  4. Entries must be submitted
    by Tuesday Noon EST
  5. The winner of each week's competition will be
    invited to judge the following week and post the winner's badge similar to the
    one on the right.
  6. Have fun!

9/24/2012 01:27:01 am

Demons.

I never imagined such a small creature would be my undoing, the beginning of the end – of my end.

I watched it every second of every day, mapping its movements, its cravings and demands. It sucked the life out of everyone I loved, I saw it clearly.

At first it blinded them, pretended to be its friend, pretended to love them. I watched my family grow attached, smilingly – and lovingly, they cared for it.

Before long, the situation changed. They got circles under their eyes; they hardly ate, talked or smiled. No one but me knew the creature was evil.

I tried telling them several times, “It’s not safe! It’s going to kill you!” I shouted at them, but they smiled at me, nodded too. I saw it in their eyes every time; they were hypnotized, under the creature’s spell.

I was the only one who saw it for what it was; a demon. I’d heard about them and knew they came in many forms. I just never thought it would come so close, not under my roof.

It was hard to get close enough these days, everyone was so protective of it, as if the creature gave them commands – this, was most likely true.

Out of sheer luck, or destiny, it was suddenly left alone. I walked up to it, weapon in hand, and stood over it. The creature did nothing, it merely looked at me. A tingle of fear ran down my spine, but I knew I had to do this.

“Benjamin!” a voice shrieked across the room, and I snapped around swiftly, dropping my weapon.

Within moments I was across his lap, three fast and stinging swats, and he let me go.

“This is the last time I’ll tell you,” father said, his eyebrows knitted together. “You are not allowed to throw your toys at your baby-brother. He’s defenseless, he needs you to protect him, not hurt him.”

I pouted, my lower lip trembling from the hurt. I rubbed my behind, and picked up the transformer at the end of his crib.

“He’s ruining everything,” I cried, and ran to my room and shut the door.

Words: 359
@ChessnySilth

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Robin Abess
9/24/2012 01:40:48 am

Endings and Beginnings

I never imagined that writing a book would be the end of me. The idea came to me as I awoke from the most frightening nightmare I’d ever had in my thirty years. Most of the details were fuzzy, but I remembered that the girl in my dream had unwittingly become a conduit to the Netherworld, and she was about to become the doorway into our world. I couldn’t remember what she’d done for this to happen, but since I woke trying to scream, shivering and sweating, I knew it would be a best seller, if I could just convey the feeling of terror it had given me.

Going to work on the novel proved fairly easy, as horror is my normal genre. I fleshed out my character, and knew her intimately, but I was stumped on the how…as in ‘how could this have happened without her knowing’? I went in old bookstores, puttered around antique shops and visited cemeteries to see if I could find any inspiration. I took a few road trips to some purportedly haunted places. None of it helped. This went on for weeks. I was frustrated, losing weight and not sleeping well. I thought if I could get back to the dream somehow, I might be able to figure out the how, but I couldn’t seem to reach REM sleep at all.

Late one night, as I sat at my computer trying desperately to get the words to come, I felt a tingling in my fingertips as they rested against the keys. Suddenly, they were moving on their own, typing words that made no sense to me whatsoever. I couldn’t stop, try as I might, and I wasn’t certain I wanted to, even though I felt horrified at having no control over my own body. I typed for what seemed like hours, unable to move from my chair or look away from the monitor. Just before dawn, I was released from my paralysis, and stumbled to bed, passing into a deep slumber. I awoke to find myself sitting at the computer again, reading the last of the words I had typed aloud.

~Aaaaaaaaaaaah.” A deep sigh echoed in my mind. “At last.” The voice was deep and gravelly.

“Who…what…”

A dark chuckle tickled my synapses. “You followed orders very well, little slave. Went to all the proper places, so I could gather the spiritual essence I needed to open the door. I’ve been waiting a very long time for the right candidate. Then you came along, your tender mind so open and easy to claim.”

The terror from my dream shot through me, and now I could remember what the girl had done…especially since the girl was me. I whimpered, shaking my head. The evil laughter came again.

“Tonight, as the moon rises full, so shall I rise through you. After I enter the world, you shall be my…companion…for all time.”

The moon has risen just now. My story ends and His begins.

498 words {without title}
@Angelique_Rider

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9/24/2012 07:32:37 am

DESTINED

We never imagined the one we swore to protect would be our greatest enemy. How could we? Legends get muddied with retelling, and now I see just how easy it is to lose critical information. Contrary to the story pieced together from crumbling scrolls, the five Guardians weren’t created to protect the Heavenly Princess from the world—but rather exactly the opposite.

The truth is, when the princess’s dire purpose was revealed I think we were all surprised—even the first time around. None of us remember our past lives, so I’m just guessing, but I know in my soul that then as now she was our friend.

My blood has caked around the vines suspending me helplessly in their thorny net—the rose petals now a more vital crimson than my spilt essence. I don’t have the strength to summon my armor now, even if I thought she’d let it through. At least I got the civilians out before she lost it completely. At least I was able to take the whole of her fury for now.

Too weak to fight anymore, I’m trapped in a web of my own thoughts. It isn’t the Princess’s magic keeping me here; it’s my own impotence. Princess? I’m not the one who calls her that, to me she’ll always just be… Why can’t I remember her name? Three years I’ve protected her, watched her mature into a strong, confident woman. She’s like a little sister to me, and now I can only think of her as the Heavenly Princess?

That was a past life. We’re different people now. All of us. In a modern world we Guardians are super heroes, celebrated and idolized for saving the world from forces beyond human understanding. Powers drawn to the Heavenly Princess. The Destined Child.

Overnight we were rejected by the world we’d saved so many times—reviled for protecting a genocidal monster from soldiers incapable of harming her, let alone helping her back to sanity. But that’s how it all started in the first place. I promised I would protect her.

I won’t break my promise.

351 words
@DavidALudwig

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9/24/2012 07:38:24 am

The Suspect
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

He never imagined the butler would be his greatest threat. Yeah, I see the smirk on your face. Let me explain.

My name is Sam Malone, Private Eye. Okay, quit laughing. I know I don’t look like your average private dick, but don’t let the lipstick and short skirt fool you. I can pound pavement along with the best of them and the legs get me in places other detectives can’t. In this case it was Packard’s Lounge. The butler answered the door on my first ring, took one look at what I was packing…. My 36 Double D’s.. He said Mr. Finch was expecting me. I didn’t find that hard to believe, I had been asking all over town about the man. Mainly I was spreading the word that he was a douche.

Trenton Finch sat behind a big mahogany desk, smoking a cigar. I got the impression the little guy was compensating for something.

“So, you’re Sammy Malone’s daughter. I knew your dad once upon a time.”

“If you knew my dad, then that makes you a bigger douche than I thought.”

He frowned. “So what is it I can do for you, Samantha… or do you go by Sammy?”

“Sam. Last person that called me Samantha is dead.”

“Oh, who’s that?”

“My dad.”

“I’d heard that you’d been his doer… wasn’t sure I believed it. “

“Tanya Davis.”

“Excuse me?”

“You asked what you could do for me. You can leave Tanya Davis alone.”

“I don’t believe…”

“You might know her as Roxy Devine.”

“Ah, yes, one of my most requested girls.”

“She’s not your girl.”

I bent over his desk, looking him in the eye. Trenton leaned forward so that his nose was pressed towards mine. It could have been very hot, if I didn’t find his breath so disgusting.

“I have a contract that says otherwise.”

“She wants out.”

He laughed, blowing his fetid breath up my nose. “And why would I let her go? She brings in quite a bit of money.”

“Because if you don’t I let everyone see these.” I tossed a manila envelope onto his desk. Looking at me, curious, Finch picked up the envelope and shook out the contents. They were all photos of Trenton dressed in drag.

“I don’t think you would appear to be such a tough guy once these got out.”

“It was then that I heard the sound of a gun cocking. I turned to see the butler sporting a very impressive piece. He shot the douche, right between the eyes.”

“I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“You killed him… in cold blood.”

“Look.” He nodded towards the desk. Trenton sagged to the side, a gun hanging limp in his hands.

“He was going to kill you.”

The police detective switched off the recorder. On the table were photos of Trenton Finch… minus most of his head.

“So, you seriously expect me to believe the butler did it?”

“Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it always the butler?”

Word Count: 500
@jezri1

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Rebekah Postupak
9/24/2012 11:33:35 am

hahahahahaha!

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9/24/2012 07:48:09 am

I never imagined he would be the greatest threat to mankind and my undoing...
But I must begin at the beginning, before you can understand why I did it. Maybe it was the foster homes and the lack of love I encountered as a child, but I had wanted all my life to be a mother. Other girls dreamed of fabulous careers. I dreamed of being a stay at home mother, with a house full of children to nurture and shower with love. I would raise my child with praise and encouragement, not punishment. My child would achieve great success and be a source of proud for me. The reality however was quite different I reached the age of thirty single and childless. A career as an executive assistant, I was happy in my chosen field, but still I longed for a child. I decided to select a mate to give me a child. He didn’t have to know. The man would be a one night stand. I fulfilled my objective and Henry was born nine months later.
Henry was from the beginning a great source of joy for me and sorrow, as he grew older though he was given to periods of anger. He would lash out and I would scold but he was never really punished, I couldn’t hurt that child, the way I had been hurt. He was brilliant and had head for the sciences. It started with a chemistry kit I gave him when he was only seven, and went on from there, winning science award, after science award.
Henry was awarded a full ride to college, because of his brilliance at sixteen. At nineteen, he graduated with two degrees. He then was recruited by the government. I was overjoyed; my son was successful brilliant and now had a career with the government.
Henry was supposed to keep his career and discoveries secret but he could never keep his triumphs from me. Henry showed me it all his plans, which he had not revealed to the government yet...a bomb worse than the H-Bomb that could destroy most of the world with a push of a button from your living room. I pleaded and begged Henry not to create this monstrosity; but he said it would be his ticket to a page in history. I tried again, but he wouldn’t listen to me, only visions of glory in his head. I never imagined he would be the greatest threat to mankind and my undoing, but there it was before me. I waited until he went to sleep and then I smothered him humanely in his sleep. It will do you no good to keep demanding the plans, I destroyed them too. His computer information was erased, and then I destroyed the computer. I’m tired now and dying. You didn’t know? I took some pills before you picked me up. Henry and I will be together again, reunited in our death. Goodbye, cruel world you’re safe again.
499 words
@SweetSheil

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9/24/2012 08:41:50 am

My Big Mouth

I never imagined that one throw away comment would be the beginning of the end of my boring life.

It was that idiot at the bar who started it, going on and on about how wonderful his new found friends, the fairies, were. He just wouldn't shut up, so of course that set the rest of them off. Brian started on about seeing a werewolf when he was younger, Pete and his old 'my neighbour is a vampire' story and of course Shelly dragged up how she was saved from a robber by a dragon!

God, my head was spinning, didn't they realise how mad they all sounded, I just couldn't take any more.

"Come on, you lot can't be serious. Let me spell it out for you. What your talking about is nonsense! There are no fairies, dragons, werewolves, vampires, gnomes, pixies, demons, devils or anything else your silly little brains can think up!".

Silence descended in the bar and I found all eyes on me.

"Don't look at me like that, you know deep down its true. Look, if any of these things exist then why don't they come on out, they should show themselves to us all, not just a select few. Let us embrace their lifestyle choices and have a party".

I only had time to down my beer before all hell broke loose.

Words 229
@lejamez

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9/24/2012 10:13:18 am

"Evildoer"

I never imagined that bag of snack food would be my undoing. As far as I could tell, there was nothing extraordinary about the bag. I overpaid for it at the vending machine, it threatened to get stuck inside the machine on its way down and I regretted buying it almost immediately.

Still, it was something to munch on while I wrote his next big speech. There were only a few pretzels left in the bag when he snuck up on me and shook my shoulders.

“Whatcha got? Pretzels?”

“Yes sir,” I said with my mouth full and offered him the bag.

He smiled and poured the rest of the bag’s contents into his mouth. He chewed and patted me on the back before leaning in to check on the speech. I highlighted one of the jokes I was proud of and he giggled. His giggling quickly turned into coughing and his coughing quickly turned into silence.

He dropped to the ground and rolled around, pointing to his neck. I screamed for help and tried to open his mouth to see if I could find the obstruction.

“The President is down!” someone screamed as the medical staff and Secret Service filled the room.

Before I could explain what happened I found myself face down on the ground under the weight of an agent as he cuffed my hands together.

229 words - @hlpauff

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9/24/2012 11:55:03 am

She never imagined her own humanity would be her undoing. This was her job, damn-it, and it made no sense that she couldn’t do it because of a single child. Hell, she’d devoured children before, had drank them down until they were nothing but hollow, empty shells with dead eyes who would never function again. Tanner touched her shoulder as she stared down at the boy who was idly playing with a set of Legos.

“Mrs. Richards?”

Her mouth trembled as she spoke. “I…I don’t think I can do it.” Her voice sounded so foreign to her, small, pathetic…weak.

“I understand how you feel. This child, he was born from parents who were members of the 77th test group in Nevada. Whatever drug they used on those people…their kids came out different. Kind of like the way we came out different. It’s their brain waves, Miranda. It makes us sympathetic to them. But that’s all, it’s not you…it’s them.” His hand gripped tighter on her shoulder. He needed her to do this, because he couldn’t do it, would never do it again.

She shook him off. “He’s just a kid, Joe!” She hissed. “There have to be other leads, other ways to get to his parents. There has to be some other way than this!”

Joe saw the look in her eye, knew exactly what it was she was a feeling. It was a sick sense of self, a harsh realization that they were in the fact the monsters, that they really weren’t helping anything or anyone. “You know they don’t call us in unless there is no other way. His parents were smart and very careful. They killed off anyone tied to them…blew up buildings just to get rid of tapes and evidence. I think they only reason they didn’t kill their son was because he was their son. In fact, our intel states that, had we been only a few minutes late, they wouldn’t have come to get the boy before we could ever had laid eyes on him.”

Miranda looked back at the small child. He couldn’t have been more than 5 years old with dark hair like his mother, and bright eyes like his father. He looked up at her then, feeling someone watching him. His eyes were large, impossibly so, and so damned innocent. He didn’t know what she was, what she was capable of. “Joe, someone else has to do this. I can’t do this.” Her hands began to shake, and she tightened them into a fist.

“Who then? Hobbs? Crascher? They don’t just eat these people, Miranda. They mutilate them.” He turned her to the kid, pushed her forward. “He’s got a better chance with you.”

The inside of her mouth turned sour as the boy looked up at her, smiled, held his hand out. “Do you want to play with me?” He asked happily.

She knelt down, her eyes bleeding from honeyed brown ink black wells. “Yes…yes let’s play a game.”

499 Words
@TheWriterMegan

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9/24/2012 12:43:18 pm

WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE AND IMPLIED SITUATIONS

“I never imagined MaryAnn would be unfaithful to Bam Bam,” Magic said, his face a mask of horrified disgust. “He’s like the SEAL version of Semper fi. He never stepped out on her when we had downtime deployed. That’s just sick.”

Retro swore softly as Greg Killian stalked away from his wife and slammed the door of the humvee in his rage.

“It’s hard on the wives, you know. Not all of them can handle us being gone all the time.”

“Oh, and you’re so experienced because you have a wife. Oh wait, you don’t, do you?”

“Jeez, Magic, back the fuck down. It’s probably harder for Chris cause she knows the kind of shit we get into, and she can’t be there to save your ass all the time.” Retro shook his head.

“Both our asses, Jim.” Magic grabbed his shoulder. “She still wants you, you know.”

“Yeah, I know. And I want her. It’s killing me to stay away.”

“Then don’t.”

“You make it sound so simple.”

“It is simple. Look, stop living by someone else’s rules, but your father’s rules. You’re a SEAL, Retro, and most of the time we have to make our own rules anyway.” Magic tightened his grip. “Chris and I have wanted you with us from the beginning. Here.” He dug into his breast pocket and pulled out a ring box.

“Ah, fuck, what the hell is that?”

“Stop being such a pussy and take it. When you have your answer, you know where to find me and Chris.”

He handed Jim the velvet box and strode away to stand beside the EMT working on Chris. Jim watched as Todd grasped Chris’s hand and she smiled at him with such love and gratitude. It alternately hardened Jim’s cock and made his heart lurch. He wanted that so much it made him sick. Could he really take Magic’s advice and make his own rules?

He glanced down at the box in his hand. Turning his back to everyone, he pulled the lid open and huffed in disbelief. A three stranded ring identical to the ones on Magic’s and Ghost’s fingers lay nestled in the black satin. Fuck, Magic had made him a ring. How long had he kept this in hopes Jim would come around?

Retro closed the box and held it tight in his hand until helo lifted off, his thoughts churning. Who’s rules would he live by? His father’s or his own? Clenching his fist around the box, he swore softly and closed his eyes.

423 words
@SiobhanMuir

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9/24/2012 08:29:16 pm

Trusted Friend

I never imagined that my best friend would be my undoing. Everyone has a blind spot and he was mine. My wife warned me, but I would not listen. I had given him everything. Everything he had, he owed to me. Even when he opposed me, I forgave him. As I rose, he rose with me and now, on the brink of our greatest triumph, he turned against me. He waited patiently for me, though I was late and, as I approached, he smiled. I forgot, teeth are used more for biting than greeting. “Give me your hand, friend Brutus.”

100 words
@nickjohns999

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9/24/2012 10:29:23 pm

Angel

I never imagined that a cat would be my rescuer. I picked her up at the SPCA. She was in that little cage. All alone. And looked at me with these big, blue-green eyes. I had to call her Angel. It just felt right. Being the push-over I am, I had took her home. And then I learned about cat food, litter boxes, hair-balls, vets, spaying, and claws. Claws can do some awful things to sofas and chairs.

Two months later, the world changed. The company got bought, by a bigger company. And everyone got let go. They dismantled us. We’d been a competitor. Now, we were just gone. I got my lay-off notice. I did well at first. Just like you’re supposed to. Filed for unemployment. Got my resume out there. Started hunting a new job.

Nothing happened. My unemployment ran out. I couldn’t find work anywhere. Hell, I even tried applying at places in other states. Nothing. Except the occasional, “We’re sorry, you’re not what we’re looking for at this time,” comment. Usually weeks after the job I’d applied for had been filled. “Please feel free to apply for other positions with us.”

Once the unemployment ran out, the bills started piling up. I wound up walking away from my house, with a suitcase full of clothes, my car, and Angel. I couldn’t afford a hotel room, or the rent on a new place. So, we slept in the car. Picked out a WalMart parking lot each night, and crashed. Angel always curled up on my chest, and slept.

Every time I sat in my car, and cried, Angle climbed into my lap. And she licked my fingers. She gave me kitty kisses. Rubbed her cheeks against my nose. It was like she was trying to tell me it would all work out. It would all be OK. And no matter what happened, she would take care of me.

I wound up working. WalMart. I took the job so I could have an income. Any job would have worked. I needed money. That let me get an apartment with a room mate. We split the rent. And now, ever day, I’m getting better. I’ve started classes at the community college, with student loans. I’m rebuilding my life. Oh, I’m not there yet. But I’ll get there with time.

And Angel was there. Every step of the way. Always trying her best to take care of me. And let me know it would all be OK. She has been the greatest gift life has ever given me. She was why I couldn’t give up. She saved my life.

457 Words
@LurchMunster

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9/25/2012 01:15:40 am

She never imagined her own selfless actions would be her undoing. The familiar, elderly woman just needed twenty-two cents. The clerk, an older man with gray hair and thick glasses, was being a complete jerk, and he wouldn’t give her the carton of milk without it. And the woman, hobbling in on a cane and looking as if that milk may be the last thing she drank before she died, desperately needed it.

Jill tossed a quarter onto the counter, and the clerk looked to her angrily, plopped it into the drawer, and handed the elderly woman her receipt. She slapped it out of his hand and went on her way. Jill paid for her items—a pack of gum and a bottle of diet soda—with her credit card, scoffed at the clerk as he refused to even acknowledge her, and went on her way as well.

And then she missed the bus. Exasperated, she ran four blocks to the next stop, but when she reached into her pocket for change, she realized that she didn’t have enough. It hadn’t even occurred to her that she’d need that quarter. And the bus driver would not let her on without it. “Exact change only, no more, no less,” he said gruffly.

So she unhappily began the fifteen-block walk home. It was just one of those days.

It was well after seven when she arrived, and the row-house was dark. As she climbed the steps, fumbling for her keys and wondering where Jason could be, she looked down the block and realized where she’d recognized the old lady at the store. She would often see her outside her apartment down there with her dog, a Yorkie that yapped entirely too much. They’d made eye contact a few times.

Jill unlocked the door, went inside, and found her entire townhouse trashed. Her expensive lamps were shattered. Jason’s TV was pulled from the wall and impaled upon the small ivory statue of Venus in the corner. The upholstered antique chairs were ripped open. Everything had been destroyed. Everything!

“Jason,” she cried out, but the house was eerily silent.

She pulled out her cell phone and dialed his number, but it rang straight to his voice mail. She hung up, fingers shaking, and had begun to dial 9-1-1, but a loud vehicle rumbled up the street behind her, making it impossible to complete her call.
She turned to see a dark van, its passenger-side window down and the sliding door open. She screamed when she saw Jason, tied and gagged, being held by two large, masked men. In the front seat, to her horror, sat the little old lady from the store—looking much more vivacious than before. And evil!

“One million dollars, Jill, or you never see him again. I know you have it. And I know you’ll give it, just like you gave me that quarter while I was just trying to distract you. We’ll call you in one hour. No police.”

500 words
@rastrohman

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